Time Out Film Guide 2011
Edited by John Pym
Time Out Guides Ltd – £19.99
Compulsory for time in, this edition of Time Out Film Guide 2011 really is the dog’s under-carriage. It’s both sleek and vast, as well as informative and brilliantly laid out. Just think of a film title, look it up, and there you have nigh on all the information you essentially need (including the original title should your investigation be a foreign film or documentary). Everything from Year and Country of release, to Director and Producer, Principal Actors and Brief Synopsis.
Naturally, should you need a more in depth analyses, there’s always the Internet, but there’s a lot to be said for having a book at your disposal – as unfashionable and un-hip as this may sound. As long time, Time Out Critic and Script Doctor, Trevor Johnston writes in the books Lead Feature: ‘’[…] the reference books which once lined my shelves in those far-off pre-Google days still remain in situ. Indeed, far from gathering dust in the interim, they’ve curiously changed their role from business to pleasure. What once was the stuff of everyday work routine has become a sneaky little treat, a deliciously unnecessary excursion into a realm where the trivial and the insightful jostle for attention.’’
I couldn’t agree more. Looking something up in a book really is less like work and a whole lot more akin to pleasure (and the great thing is, you can do it almost anywhere). But I’m not here to write about the many virtues of the written page over that of the laptop; although you’re sure to find almost anything with regards film amid the 1336 pages herein.
Returning to the (outset of) the book: ‘’The current edition of the Film Guide contains more than 350 new reviews of feature films, documentaries, shorts and animated entertainments, in both two and three dimensions. It also includes an updated directory of 100 notable film-related websites – including timeout.com/film where you’ll find longer versions of many of the reviews in this guide […].’’
Replete with a section on the Key to the Credits which includes abbreviations for producer countries around the world, as well as thirty-eight principal film reviews from Cannes 2010 (among them Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialisme and Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) and a rather groovy section called Movie Clicks – 100 links every film lover should know – Time Out Film Guide 2011 is the next best thing to asking Barry Norman. Well maybe not quite, but methinks you know what I mean! To quote Kenneth Turan of The LA Times: ‘’Truly, madly deeply irresistible.’’